Bebyggelsemönster i medelhavsområdet: en studie av medinan i Fes ställd i relief mot Siena|
Doktorsavhandling, 1995

This thesis is an analysis and comparative study of medieval Mediterranean urban patterns. With urban patterns is meant the arrangement of houses and public spaces with special regard to the relations between them. The thesis contains four parts. Previous research on Muslim cities is described and commented in the first part. A difference between research before and after 1960 is noted. The Medina of Fes is discussed in the second part. In an historical background sketch the foundation of the Medina and its development are presented. The spatial analysis shows that the physical structure of the Medina is based on a primary pattern unit of a square courtyard house with a closed, inward-turned physical structure. A number of these primary units are grouped around a cul de sac to form a second-level community unit; a number of these latter form a quarter. The quarters are adjacent and close to each other which means that the Medina as a whole can be regarded as a complex physical and social unit surrounded with the city walls. In a comparable approach the physical and social structure of Siena is studied. The primary units here are the casa corte, which is similar to the courtyard of the Medina, and the casa a schiera which is a filehouse without any comparative physical form in the medina. These two different primary units engendered two types of building patterns, one in the city centre where courtyard units are grouped around a central square, and the other one in the periphery of the city formed by the alignment of the filehouses along the street. An attempt to compare the physical and social units in the Medina and Siena is made in the fourth part of this thesis. The primary units, the community units, the quarters and the cities are compared. This comparative study shows that the similarities between the Medina and Siena are much more apparent on the social level and on the level of the smaller physical units, i.e. the habitat, than between the larger social and physical composition of the quarters.

community unit


space analysis

physical structure



primary pattern unit


urban pattern

medina of Fes


Abdellah Abarkan

Institutionen för arkitekturhistoria





Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 1076

Arkitekturhistoria och bebyggelsevård : 1995:1

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